WRITER Peter David
PENCILER Rick Leonardi
COLOR Antonio Fabela
LETTERER VC’s Joe Caramagna
EDITOR Ellie Pyle
SENIOR EDITOR Nick Lowe
After four issues the obligatory Spider-Verse intrustion comes to Spider-Man 2099…
SUMMARY: Somewhere out in the multiverse (Earth-9812 from Avengers Forever to be exact) Morlun takes out yet another Spider-Man while knocking heavies like Wolverine, Genis-Vell and Wolverine aside like so much cannon fodder. But this time it’s an alternate version of Miguel O’Hara, not Peter Parker. After draining this Miggy alternate, Morlun notices that yet another Miggy variant is watching across time & space via a portal. He departs to investigate, leaving Cap & Wolverine to stumble along and talk about how hard they just got schooled and how much they hope Morlun won’t return.
Back in Marvel ‘s Earth-616, Miguel O’Hara immediately feels the adverse affects of one of his future variants being massacred across the multiverse. The resulting psychic feedback almost allows a group of robbers to escape in a helicopter but Miggy still manages to make short work of them – while also noting that it felt like “he” had just died. He pauses to ponder the imponderables.
Over in Earth-6375 (from Exiles comics) a bearded Miguel O’Hara (who witnessed Morlun via the portal) tells his apparent girlfriend Mary Jane (wha huh?) that Morlun is hopping around the multiverse killing Spider-variants. He explains that he’ll head to Earth-616 since – as the one place where Morlun ‘died’ – it might be safer. Mary Jane shows obvious concerns and tells Miggy that she’s going with him, like it or not.
Back at Alechemax in Earth-616, Miggy is questioning Tiberius about the company’s involvement with the Scorpion. When Stone tells Miggy that they arranged to have Scorpion released from prison to work with them, Miggy hits the roof. He says they can’t do business that way and in a moment of frustration exclaims that they should be building super-prisons. This catches Liz’s ear; she likes the idea, especially since Parker industries recently looked into doing the same thing. But while they talk it over, Morlun kills the Miguel of Earth-96099 (the alternate reality from the Timestorm story) along with his father. Miguel experiences another psychic feedback attack in front of Liz.
Miggy excuses himself and consults with Lyla on what might be wrong with him. She tells him that aside from stress and a liver ailing from too much drinking too much booze recently that she can’t find a cause for it. Miggy makes his way to the roof and suits up as Spidey 2099, ready to start looking for answers – but then a portal opens. Before Earth-6375’s Miguel can step through he is murdered by Morlun, in front of Miggy’s eyes. Morlun throws the 6375 Miguel through the portal and down at Miggy’s feet. When Miggy recognizes who Morlun is (as well as the fact that he is supposed to be dead) he challenges the murderer instantly. This makes Morlun hesitate, and the portal from 6375 closes.
Our story ends with Miggy realizing he needs to find Peter.
ANALYSIS: Even fantastic titles must inevitably suffer the consequences of bloated event crossovers, and my current favorite title was no exception. Unfortunately we’ll be dealing with Spider-Verse injecting itself into these pages at least through the eighth issue.
I admit to being unfamiliar with most of the variant multiverses presented here with the exception of the Avengers Forever Earth. And to be honest, seeing Morlun show up and overwhelm Captain America & Wolverine so badly – to the point of being glad Spidey’s murderer escaped justice and not showing much of an interest in going after him – kinda irked me. I’m not used to Cap and Logan being portrayed with so much “give up” in them.
The best points in this book come with the continuation of Miguel’s ongoing story. The discussions with Tiberius and Liz help navigate through the forced Spider-Verse segments and help move Miguel’s story through a minefield of event interruption. Parker Industries wanting to build a super-villain prison had me shaking my head in disbelief, but Alchemax wanting to get involved made a ton of sense. It also makes me wonder if we’ll eventually see some conflict between Liz and her brother Molten Man down the line because of it.
Rick Leonardi steps in here with the penciling and while I’m thrilled to see Rick back with Peter David working on Miguel stories, I would have preferred a different inker. Very much so.
The interesting stuff we’d been following has been interrupted by event du jour comics – and will be for quite some time. Peter David’s doing the best he can right now with what he’s been given. I’m just hoping the forced event stuff doesn’t work against the title building a strong following.
EDIT: I hadn’t noticed this until just now. While Brad and I were talking via text about the inking done in this issue Brad also pointed out to me that the cover doesn’t properly credit Rick Leonardi. Instead it credits regular penciler Will Sliney (whose work I do enjoy very much). C’mon Marvel! Wait, lemme guess. Hydra’s fault, right?